Curated by Martha Kirszenbaum and Myriam Ben Salah

1 February 2017

Artists from the Middle East are often associated with narratives of struggle and rhetoric of the past. Some end up making works that are almost a response to a Western "tacit commission"—as coined by Moroccan scholar Mohamed Rachdi—arbitrarily linking authenticity with traumatic storytelling.

The screening reflects on the importance of popular culture, the omnipresence of technologies and the role of music and dance, while tackling a form of vernacular disorientalism and conveying a certain digital cosmopolitanism. It comprises selected music videos from iconic Middle-Eastern musicians of the 1950s-60s-70s alongside video works by contemporary artists that reflect the complexities of this often oversimplified "East-West" configuration.

Bendaly Family, Do You Love Me? , 1978, 3:32 min
Meriem Bennani, Fardaous Funjab, 2015, S1 EP1 7:15 min
Fairuz, Laylit Eid (Jingle Bells), c.1965, 2:51 min
Sarah Abu Abdallah, Out to Lunch, 2013, 9:54 min
Dor Zlekha Levy, The Tarab Prince, 2014, 1:49 min
Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid Al Gharaballi, MENDEEL UM A7MAD (NxIxSxM), 2012, 15:50 min
Meriem Bennani, Fly, 2016, 17:32 min
Googoosh, Pishkesh, live on Manoto TV, 1972, 3:30 min


Martha Kirszenbaum (b.1983, Vitry-sur-Seine, France) is a curator and writer based in Los Angeles, where she was the Director and Curator of Fahrenheit, an exhibition space and residency program (2014-16). She graduated from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York, and worked at Media Department of MoMA in New York (2006-07), the Photography Department of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2007) and at the New Museum in New York (2008-10). Additionally, she collaborated with the Center for Contem- porary Art in Warsaw, the Belvedere Museum/21er Haus in Vienna, the Marrakech Biennale, Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Kunsthalle Mulhouse. Kirszenbaum is a regular contributor to Flash Art, CURA, Kaleidoscope and Mousse, and has led seminars on curatorial practice at the Universite? Paris VIII and Parsons, Paris.

Myriam Ben Salah (b.1985, Algiers, Algeria) is a curator and writer based in Paris, where she has been coordinating special projects and public programs at Palais de Tokyo since 2009, focusing especially on performance art, video and publishing initiatives. She is the Editor in Chief of KALEIDOSCOPE magazine’s International Edition. She co-edits F.A.Q., a periodical image-only magazine with artist Maurizio Cattelan, and her writings have appeared in numerous international art publications. Her latest curatorial projects include Cool Memories (Occidental Temporary, Paris, 2016), Like the Desert Miss the Real (Galerie Steinek as part of « Curated-by », Vienna, 2015), Dirty Linen (DESTE Foundation at the Benaki Museum, Athens, 2015), Shit and Die (Palazzo Cavour as part of Artissima collateral program, Turin, 2014).